Things are a little tough with Chantelle and myself living apart at the moment, so last Friday was pretty cool in that we set aside a little alone time and after visiting with Jessica in the hospital, I whisked my wife away and off we drove to Tygervalley where we selected a movie to watch for the first time in absolute ages (I believe the last time we were at the cinema was to catch the new Karate Kid!)
Actually, there are quite a couple of worthy films on the big screen at the moment, but Chantelle was quite keen on Spud, and so we booked our tickets and then slinked across the food hall to grab some McDonalds for supper (also a first in a very, very long time!). Despite the unnerving sight of a completely passed out man sleeping on the couch across from us, we enjoyed the quick bite to eat, before hurriedly making our way back to the cinemas, making the usual Chantelle pitstop combined with the Chantelle in the popcorn queue routine in the process.
Spud was surprisingly well supported, but we managed to secure decent seats and settled down to enjoy the huge number of adverts, no film previews and what turned out to be a pretty decent film – even if I didn’t end up walking out quite satisfied at the end of it all. The reason for this I’m pretty sure is a combination of a) I haven’t read any of the books and b) I never went to boarding school.
Still, it was a well made movie with a likeable cast all around, and more importantly, John Cleese was absolutely brilliant in his particular role. So I liked that.
Well, we’ve been settled in our new home here at Country Mews for less than a week, and already we’ve entertained twice, the first being a nice Sunday morning visit from Dean, Zania and our uber cute god-child Zandea (with mother-in-law in tow), who stopped by on their way back from a weekend away at Hermanus. Of course having been in the house for exactly one night meant that the place wasn’t exactly ready to be shown off just yet, but technically it counts as the first proper visit – I’m not counting the numerous visits by the Montgomery Clan as they were invited to work (by their daughter mind you) and not to visit! ;) (That will still come, I promise – Chantelle owes you something really special!)
The exciting news on their side is of course that they too have just purchased a beautiful little house in Kraaifontein, though it did come at the expense of poor Dean’s boat, a project that has been teetering on being complete for so many years now! On a side note, little Zandea is growing more and more with each visit and she’s in that absolute cutie-pie stage at the moment which makes me all the more eager for my own little Jessica to come along!
The second visit was a far more formal affair, our very visit dinner event in the new house. While I was away at work and then sweating it out at karate, Chantelle busied herself with cooking up a fantastic “Surprise Chicken” meal, complete with pumpkin (butternut) fritters and of course the all important chocolate pudding with vanilla ice cream for dessert. Estate agent Len’s freshly dropped off celebratory bottle of champagne was at the ready as we welcomed Retha and Miguel into our home for the very first time!
The two of them are freshly returned from Spain, and so it was great to catch up on all their adventures over a fantastic supper, good European football (Barcelona and Valencia in one night!) and of course that previously mentioned all important pudding. We don’t have much time with them as in a month’s time they are off to Austria, before a quick trip back here before heading out to South Korea (or was that China? I can’t remember now) for at least a year, so its good to grab a hold of them as much as possible in the next little while!
(Oh, and the gifts they brough back from Spain for us was pretty cool too!)
Of course, the European soccer was of no great interest to Chantelle and Retha, and my wife somehow convinced Retha to give her a proper back massage while the men remained glued to the telly, something which C really, really enjoyed and more importantly, somewhere inbetween afforded Retha the opportunity to feel little Jessica kick for the very first time.
So yes, our little house is probably only at about 80% settled in now, but already we’ve got a visit count well up and running. And hey, we haven’t even begun to organise the official house warming yet!
Last Thursday saw Chantelle and myself meet up in Bellville after work in order to join Dean and Zania for a braai – after all, someone had to eat those crayfish and that Geelbek that his colleague had gifted him! Of course on arrival Chantelle immediately got to work at wrestling the adorable little Zandea from Zania’s arms (as Terrance puts it, every time he sees a photo of us with the Stapelbergs its seems as if Chantelle has stolen the baby!), while Dean and I set up camp outside around the weber on what could only be described as the perfect summer’s evening.
We were spoiled for starters with a chilled crayfish little dish that Chantelle thoroughly enjoyed, but as for me, it was definitely the main course of tasty Geelbek that did the trick – a fish that I don’t particularly remember having eaten before. Despite clinging to the grid for all that it was worth after being removed off the coals, we eventually coaxed it off without dropping it and with that done it was time to drop the manners and tuck in – and tuck in we did! (Leaving of course some space for dessert. C’mon, what did you think?)
Anyway, outside of the scrumptious food being served on the night, the other story to come out of this particular dinner meeting was of course Dean’s CampMaster outdoor chair which decided to look me straight in the eye and take me on – a decision it would later come to regret.
Despite the fact that before I even sat down, I had already voiced my concerns over those dubious little thin pipes making up the chair, but on Dean’s assurance I gave in and sat down, and sure enough, it was a pretty comfy seat – until I shifted weight to stand up again.
With a loud ‘twang’ there broke one of the plastic catches holding the legs in place and with a great sigh, the chair kind of half folded in on its self.
Of course, there was much profuse apologizing following the incident for at least the next half hour, but damn it, now I feel as guilty as hell. So if anyone knows where I can find a replacement chair like the one in the picture below, please, please give me a shout so that I can ease my conscious and in doing so, prod Dean into one day inviting us back for supper.
You know, because he’d have two chairs then…
It turned out to be quite the sociable and relaxed weekend this time around, with Chantelle and I kicking Friday off by heading out to Bellville after work in order to visit with Mom and the rest of the family in celebration of mom’s 53rd birthday. As per usual it was an excellent braai followed up with lots of catching up chatter between the brothers, sister and folks, all nicely washed down with lots of great tasting little snack goodies – the perfect family get together in other words! :P (Not that Chantelle lasted all that long mind you – before I blinked twice she had taken her leave of us Lotters Original and sneaked off to the couch where she happily snored away much of the evening!)
Saturday was a pretty chill affair for the first part, with Chantelle sleeping away just about the whole morning like a dead person and I happily entertaining myself with Ryan’s Devil May Cry 4, before we finally set foot outdoors in order to hit the Pick ‘n Pay and grab all the necessary goodies for afternoon braai time. So whirlwind housekeeping and setting up, and pretty soon our guests of Damen, Michelle, Robert, Karl, Trish, Dean, Zania and little Zandea arrived, heralding the start of an awesome evening in the company of good friends. As is now quickly becoming the norm, I served up a masterful array of good tasting meat off the braai (seriously this ultimate braai that Chantelle bought me is awesome!) and it combined well with all the light snacks that Chantelle created including green salad, spanspek and some home made garlic roll. And don’t forget the ice cream filled, chocolate lathered sugar cones for dessert either!
And while watching the South African cricket team take on India provided the bulk of the day’s entertainment, the evening was not to pass without building some competitive spirit and so out came our 30 Seconds for its maiden voyage, providing some excellent games in which I’m sad to say, Team Lotter/Montgomery were soundly beaten by Team Storbeck/Oosthuizen! (But boy did Chantelle become a little bit too competitive by the end of the matches – get one little thing clue or description wrong and she’ll take your head clean off, mark my words! :D)
Seeing as we had held the braai early afternoon (15:00 to be exact) in order to accommodate the Stapelbergs and their little one, the rest of the crowd bid their farewells while there was still plenty of time left on the day’s clock, meaning that Rob and I got to ring in bedtime by watching the surprisingly fun Death Race starring Jason Statham in the lead – lots of car and gun action in case you are wondering!
Sunday morning saw us sleep in pretty late, before finally rousing and setting Chantelle to work on crafting some delicious french toast with bacon and fried banana for breakfast, after which Rob and I set about playing around with Dean’s copy of Ashes, which turns out to be a surprisingly fun cricket game – not that I can bat to save my life of course!
Following that we kicked Rob out of the house and set off for the mall, where I finally picked up a copy of Twilight (the first book) for Chantelle from CNA and then an awesome little paper shredded for my study here at home. (But no toaster mind you. Still can’t find a four piece toaster that both my wife and I see eye to eye on!)
Back home it was time for serious chillax as Chantelle stretched herself out on the couch in front of American Idols for the next couple of hours while I faffed around writing blog posts, doing the dishes and in the end playing some games (Again, Devil May Cry 4 is awesome. ‘Nuff said). Evening eventually rolled by and we found ourselves surely but steadily drawn in by the amazing Will Smith Seven Pounds drama, before ending the night off with Chantelle working on her Sarie competition entry, toasted cheese sarmies and just some general office and braai dishes cleaning up.
And testing the new office shredder of course! :)
So, a huge, huge honour has been bestowed upon us this Christmas day (well, night to be more accurate – was the only time we could squeeze Dean and Zania in on a day rather fully scheduled in terms of visits) – Dean and Zania have asked us to be Godparents to little Zandea, a task that we both eagerly accepted, making Chantelle the happiest Godmother in the universe at the moment I think! ;)
Thank you Dean and Zania, this is indeed a fantastic honour for the both of us! We’re proud to be able to serve you guys in this manner.
(Plus, now I feel like I have finally surpassed Karl-Heinz’s rank of Goatfather! :P)
Borrowing Dean and Zania’s adorable little Zandea as a willing prop, this following photo proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that Chantelle was made to be a mother:
See? Who can argue otherwise?
In a fantastic bit of news that came through last night, we learned that little princess Zandea, Dean and Zania’s pride and joy, finally decided to show her face to the world last night, after deciding that waiting until the 16th of this month was simply far too long to bear.
Weighing in at 3.4 kg, little Zandea seems to be as healthy as can be, and all is good in the world of the Stapelbergs.
So congratulations Dean and Zania, you guys must be ever so proud. Chantelle and I can’t wait to meet the little girl, that’s for sure, so expect a visit from us sooner than later! :)